All posts in februari 2017

DJ Casketkrusher – New Years Mix 2016: Ultimate Gabber Mix

DJ Casketkrusher - New Years Mix 2016: Ultimate Gabber Mix

DJ Casketkrusher – New Years Mix 2016: Ultimate Gabber Mix

DJ: Casketkrusher
Genre/Style: Hardcore Techno, Gabber, Happy Hardcore, Early Hardcore, Terror
Mix Info: New Years Mix 2016: Ultimate Gabber Mix
Length Mix: 00:57:53
Tracks: 22 (twenty-two)
Download/Listen (via Soundcloud): LISTEN HERE
File Size: unknown
File Type: unknown
Bitspeed: unknown
More Information: Casketkrusher – Facebook Fanpage

As you all know, I am a HUGE fan of the early Hardcore/Gabber/Happy Hardcore stuff. My music collection is quite impressive when it comes to that kind of music, and I adore everyone who makes mixes, keeping the music alive and kicking. And recently I’ve discovered a DJ called Casketkrusher, who keeps the music alive and kicking like no-one else. When you do adore the music as much as I do, and grew up with it, this new DJ is the one to follow. His passion and dedication is tremendous, and for those who are unaware of what he’s capable of, here’s one of his mixes.

Released last month, I could have reviewed this much earlier, but sadly there was no tracklist. I really needed a tracklist, because I did not know all tracks by name. Thankfully yesterday he replied with a tracklist, which you can also find underneath the mix. And this mix is dope, seriously dope. Yes, the majority of DJs keep on mixing stuff which we’ve heard a billion times before, but not these tracks. You won’t know what hit you once you’ve pressed the precious ‘play’ button. This is insane, this is impressive, and above all: this is my kind of Hardcore.

The tracklist, I’ve waited for this quite a while, but it was worth it. Check this beast out!

tracklist

01. Dougal & Mickey Skeedale – New Generation (Hard Mix) 
02. Da Pumping Universe – The Northstar
03. Ultimate Buzz feat MC Bee – Rofo’s Theme (El Bruto Remix) 
04. Uranium – Rippin’ Off Wax
05. The Prophet – Housetime! (3 Steps Ahead Remix) 
06. The Stunned Guys – Beats Time
07. DJ Ruffneck vs Juggernaut – I’m A Ruffneck!!!
08. Matrix + Wargroover – Energy
09. Kool Killers – Amerikaaaaah! (DJ Dano Amsterdam ’96 Remix) 
10. DJ Dano – Fuckem All (Original Mix) 
11. DJ Sim – Horras ’94
12. The Propher – The Sound He Makes
13. Pineapple Jack – Do That Dance!
14. Frank E & Mars-L – Spliffs ‘N Niffs
15. DJ Waxweazle – I Like This World
16. Urban Menace – The Wrong Nigga To Fuck With
17. Dance Overdose – Portant
18. R. Wagner – My Dominion
19. Evil Maniax – Psychopath
20. Trickster – Emphasis On Hardcore
21. The Thundergods Of Asgard – Bustin’ Walls
22. DJ Dano – 120-9000 BPM

Come on, if this doesn’t cause tingling sensation down in your underpants, you ain’t Hardcore. You might like the new generation Hardcore, but never call yourself a true Hardcore fan, because you aren’t. Like your roots, like this. This is the music that defined a generation, and created the path for future projects. This is the reason why Hardcore is still alive: because it was banging, fresh, new, uplifting, different, and above all: it was f**king ace!

This mix has got everything you need: Gabber, Happy Hardcore, a tiny amount of Terror (c.q. last track), early Hardcore and more. This brings back good memories, and this is the kind of music I miss. Only a handful of producers keep this sound alive, but I prefer this above the new Hardcore. Not saying that the new is crap of bad, but this was so much different. This is the music that came from the soul, and dedication lead to these tracks. On basic materials they made this, not being helped by soft- and hardware that we’ve got nowadays.

The music was so good. And this mix is going straight into my top 10 ‘all time greatest mixes’. I’m truly in love with Casketkrusher’s mix. What can I mention about the tracks? Well, the only track I don’t like is the ‘Amerikaaah!’ track. Not my cup of tea. But if that’s all… nothing bad in all fairness, eh? 1 out of 22 tracks ain’t bad?

The mixing side of it is just spot on. I can’t name a single bad thing, I simply can’t. I’m truly in love with this mix. Please Casketkrusher, keep providing us with mixes such as this one, we need more. We are desperate. This is what keeps me and others alive!

One of the greatest mixes of all time. Fantastic tunes.

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Shimotsukei – Watchtower Vol. 3 Mix (2015)

Shimotsukei - Watchtower Vol. 3 Mix (2015)

Shimotsukei – Watchtower Vol. 3 Mix (2015)

DJ: Shimotsukei
Genre/Style: Freeform, Hard Trance
Mix Info: Watchtower Vol. 3 Mix – 2015-08-08
Length Mix: 00:41:10
Tracks: 8 (eight)
Download/Listen (via Soundcloud): DOWNLOAD/LISTEN
File Size: 94.2 MB
File Type: mp3
Bitspeed: 320kbps
More Information: Shimotsukei – Soundcloud Page

Last week I discovered a new mix (which is actually an ‘old’ one) by Shimotsukei, and after listening to it, it blew me away. Sadly I went on a holiday, and had no time to review it, but I saved it as a favourite on Internet Explorer, and only today I went back onto my computer, and there it was! I could not leave this mix aside, and review another one, I simply couldn’t.

For those who are unaware of what Watchtower actually is, it’s a CD compilation, focussed on spreading ‘underground’ music, mainly Freeform. And this third instalment was released back in 2015, and it contained artists such as Alek Szahala, Transcend, Eryk Orpheus, Endemic, Douglas, Qygen and more. Back in 2015 Shimotsukei made a promo mix for this album, but it only recently emerged onto Soundcloud. Don’t ask me why, don’t have a clue. But it’s good that, even though it’s 2 years later, it was uploaded onto this platform, because it’s really a dope mix!

If you want to hear some dark, edgy, yet beautiful and inspiring Freeform, check this mix (and the actual album) out. Let me show you the tracklist, you will be impressed.

tracklist

01. Qygen – Soul Survivor
02. Alek Szahala – Avalanche
03. Rik Arkitech – Heart Is A Flutter
04. GULD vs Betwixt & Between – Hatral (GULD 2013 Mix) 
05. Le Dos-on & Psycho Stalker – Chemical Wash
06. Substanced – Ghost Of The Future (Alchemiist Remix) 
07. Aryx – Helix
08. Epyx & Cyrez vs Tyranoid / Strongstream – What Lies Below

The tracklist is short, but the mix is very good and rough. I’m really entertained from the first to the last second, and the 8 tracks Shimotsukei has selected are all really good. This is Freeform the way I like it: dark and edgy. A lot of Trance influences, but a bit faster and tougher.

I can honestly say that this mix rocks hard. If Freeform is your thing, and you are digging it the way I do, you should definately check this mix out. Not a lot of tracks, but they are played as long as you can imagine, no short radio edits. And they’ve been carefully mixed by Shimotsukei, and it’s a good promo mix. It nearly made me buy one, but I reckon all copies are sold out. Wouldn’t know where to get a copy.

I could talk for days, but I am simply not going to do that. You just go and play this mix right now. No mucking about, no waiting until tomorrow, do it now! And be amazed. Let this mix be your guide on this dreadful and boring Saturday morning. This is the way all ravers should wake up: play the finest mixes out there on maximum volume level.

What are you waiting for? Have you pressed play yet?

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Mark Archer Interview (2017)

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If the picture above doesn’t cause mayhem, or doesn’t make you loose your mind completely, you are not a full-on raver. The legendary Altern 8 dominated the 90s with their perspective on the newly formed Rave scene, and one half of Altern 8 (the one I’m about to interview) is the mighty Mark Archer, one half of Altern 8. A legend within the scene, with many years of experience as a producer, DJ and rave pioneer.We talk to the man who made the 90s memorable, and who still to this day continues to play all over the UK and the world. He might be a bit older and not on Vicks Vapo Rub anymore, but he’s still determined to get you all raving. Raise your hands in the air, and dance like a monkey on acid: Mark Archer!!!


Mark Archer, how are you doing sir? How’s life at the moment for you?
“I’m very well thank you and life is particularly good at the moment, after a few years of it being a bit difficult to say the least, things are looking up.”

Mark Archer, or is it already sir Archer? You must have been knighted by her Majesty for your contribution to the Rave scene…
“Haha – I wish :)”

Let’s go back in time, way back in time. When Mark was a little lad, and wasn’t focussed on DJing or raving the night away. What did Mark do when he was a young kid?
“I used to live in a really small hamlet called Bishopswood so had a small group of friends and everyone knew everyone really, kind of a quite idylic childhood growing up in the countryside playing in fields etc”

No disrespect, but I’m young. I don’t know what the wonderful music had to offer when you were young. What kind of music did you listen to growing up, and was it music that you really loved and adored, or disliked?
“I pretty much listened to everything, you either liked or disliked a tune, I wasn’t into one specific thing really, just whatever was on the radio at the time.

I’ve recently done a series of mixes called ‘Back To Mine’ where I’ve added some of these old tracks that maybe part of a film soundtrack or country and western, just tunes that I remember well from when I was little.”

DJing wasn’t a thing, because it’s wasn’t fully developped yet. Music was there, dance scenes were also present, but someone playing records non-stop was obviously not a full on thing. What attracked you to the music scene in the first place? What kind of connection did you have with music?
“It wasn’t until the late 70’s I guess when there was a lot of Disco on the radio that I kind of started veering toward liking a certain sound more than others and then when Hip Hop and Electro Funk came over to the UK that was it for me, the idea of the tracks being mixed on the Streetsounds Electro series had me fascinated and it’s from then I started reading all the credits on who produced and mixed tracks and got really into things.”

What did you as a kid imagine to become when you were older? Was it something to do with music, or something completely different?
“When I left school the only thing I could think that I wanted to do was be a DJ but that came after the production really (and after becoming a painter and decorator too).”

Paul Farmer (C)

According to your own website you started your production career back in 1988. 1988, that’s a long time ago! You started alongside Dean Meredith and formed Rhythm Mode D, being a Hip Hop/sample House group. How did you get into producing as such, and what did you use to make records back then?
“I was laid off from my job as a painter and bumped into Dean who was on work experience in Stafford town (I’d known Dean a few years earlier when we used to be in to breakdancing etc). He said he had a set of decks at his and i’d just got a small sampling keyboard so I went to his and we just made some tracks messing about, nothing serious.

We took this tape with our tracks on to a newly opened studio in Stafford and were offered a deal there and then, amazingly lucky when you think about it.”

The majority of artists started listening to Hip Hop and slowely moved into the dance scene, listening to House music. But is the transition that easy? How come you went from Hip Hop to House music?
“It was pretty much a logical thing and everyone who was into the same sort of music as me at the time did the same. We were listening to a lot of 80’s Soul and R&B so the transition to house wasnt so great as it was a lot more vocally than the Hip Hop and Electro of the time.”

What was the scene like back then? Was the scene as memorable as we believe it was?
“It was very exciting, House music was brand new – it’s now been around for over 30 years so people are used to it but then it was like ‘what on earth is this?’ Then with the start of Acid House it totally turned clubbing upside down.”

Rhythm Mode D was your first adventure, another adventure was Bizarre Inc (founding member). How did that happen?
“Dean and myself were recording loads of different things at the studio we were working at, from Hip Hop to Acid House and doing loads or remixes for the label that ran alongside the studio. We wanted to do a more Techno styled track and so came up with the name Bizarre Inc. Our first release got to number 100 in the UK charts and so Dean kicked me out of Bizarre Inc.”

Nexus 21 was the next step. And you had multiple releases on big labels. But first of all: where did the name come from? And wasn’t producing for Bizarre Inc. And Rhythm Mode D enough work on its own?
“As I’d stopped working with Dean after he kicked me out of Bizarre Inc I was on the dole for a while. I’d firmly got the music making bug so contacted the studio to see if I could do a new project, which became Nexus 21.”

Paul Farmer (c)

The music progressed, and so did you. You formed a side project, which became one of the biggest duos in the UK Rave scene. The name is known for many things, but the main focus was the music. The group became an instant success overnight, and you took the UK charts by storm. And this happened at the beginning of the 90s. How did the success of Altern 8 effect you? How did it make you feel?
“We started Altern 8 in 1990 when we signed to Network records and released the Overload EP. It sold well because it was 8 tracks at a single 12″ price, so when we release The Vertigo EP in 1991, people were already waiting for it. It was a complete shock that it charted in the UK top 40 but I think that was due to the power of the Rave scene. Radio was no longer breaking these sort of records, they were just being catapulted into the charts because of the amount of people who went to raves and bought the singles.”

How did the act come about? The mask, the suits?
“It was all accidental, the name was wrong as we were supposed to be called Alien 8, the suits and masks were to stop people recognising us as Nexus 21 as we had done a fair few PA’s under that name so wanted to look different.”

Two tracks appeared in the UK charts, ‘Infiltrate 202’ and ‘Activ-8’. And the true ravers know the tunes and they know the legendary video for ‘Activ-8’. How was it, making a video with the equipment back then? And what was the focus of the video? Is there a hidden story behind it? Or were you just mocking about (because of the Vicks)?
“It was supposed to be us at a club/rave then jumping into this parallel world where it all goes crazy with the violins and robot in a country park. It was all very funny and a great laugh to do it, but at the time we never thought the PA in the car park would go down in rave history.”

Not only were Altern 8 known for their music, but also Vicks Vapo Rub. How in God’s name did that happen? How did it come about? And did Vicks ever contact you two, because you made the sales go through the roof?
“After wearing the masks for a while they begin to smell so it was purely by accident when we went to a club in Newcastle Upon Tyne that people were using vicks in the club, we decided to put it in the masks so it would smell nice and last a long time.

I wanted to see if Vicks would sponsor us untril someone told me the reason why people were using it in clubs, then thought maybe contacting them wouldnt be such a great idea.”

You must have seen quite a few weird things during the 90s, being Nexus 21 or Altern 8. What’s the most memorable thing you can think of, the most funniest moment, the most beautiful moment, and the most shocking moment?
“Being spat on as we left a club was probably the worst moment (can’t please everyone eh?) but playing infront of 40,000 people in Birmingham while we were in the charts in 1991 was a great memory.”

Paul Farmer (c)

Obviously you kept on producing music, and the next step was obviously an Altern 8 album, which was called ‘Full On Mask Hysteria’. How was the general reaction to this album? And how were the sales?
“It went top ten in the UK album charts so we were very pleased and it’s seen today as one of the two biggest albums of that era. It’s something i’m very proud of indeed.”

Talking about the word general: the general election of 1992. You were participating during the election. That must have been the weirdest thing you’ve done? Who’s idea was that, how many Vicks did you us on that day the decision was made, and how many people voted for you?
“It was actually Chris who did that and not me, but we didn’t come last in the local elections which was funny as we beat someone who was being serious about a political career.”

Altern 8 as a group decided to call it a day after those succesful years. Was it the right decision to make? And was it the right decision, looking back at it?
“We decided to stop Altern 8 on a high as there had started to be a huge backlash against the whole Rave scene and we were going to concentrate on Nexus 21 but by then mine and chris’s working relationship had gone bad and it never happened.”

You continued in the music industry, and your next project was Slo-Moshun, and success continued. Was it hard to maintain the level you reached when you were part of Altern 8?
“We weren’t aiming to emulate the success that I’d had as Altern 8, we were just making music that we liked and luckily ‘Bells Of New York’ was a massiver club track and it silenced a lot of doubters at the time that Altern 8 was pure luck.”

The 90s progressed, and you continued in the DJ scene. Producing wise it all became a little bit more quiet than the previous years. After those memorable years, what happened in Mark Archer’s life?
“I got married in 1992 and soon had my first child which make it difficult to be in a studio all day. When in 1996 my second child was born and the label I was signed to folded it sort of halted my career (not that regret having children of course, I wouldn’t change that for the world)”

The party scene evolved, and became bigger and bigger. You’ve played at so many events, and I reckon you do have some memorable moments you would like to share? What was Mark Archer’s biggest moment as a solo artist on stage?
“Over the years I’ve been very lucky to play in so many different countries at amazing clubs and festivals but I think that closing the Arcadia stage at Glastonbury 2015 was the best gig of my career. the stage is a huge robotic spider so the crowd is 360 degrees all round you and even underneath the stage and there was around 40,000 people there.”

Paul Farmer (c)

The internet emerged during the late 90s, early 00s, and Facebook came and made you closer to the fans you adored you since the early 90s. I’ve not asked this to anyone before, but how does social media affect the artist’s life? How is it to be under constant pressure (in a good way) by the fans?
“It’s great that social media alows you to get closer to people who years ago you’d only be able to see on tv or at a concert and it’s fantastic some of the messages I get especially about the book that came out last year, the fact that people can relate to things that have happened in my life or it’s maybe inspired someone to keep trying at music, it’s fantastic.”

Towards the end of the early 00s tracks began to be released on several labels, such as ‘Frequency remixes’, ‘Microdots’, ‘Flections’, ‘Joints’, and more. Did the producing side of Mark got him back into releasing records?
“I’d done a few things through the 00’s but mainly engineered by other people as I’d not kept up with engineering after the late 90’s when I’d sort of stopped making music.

After meeting Josh from I Love Acid, he got me back into producing slowly so I’ve been doing more things but I don’t think I’ll ever be as productive as I used to be in the early 90’s.”

Did you use your ‘old’ equipment from the 90s, or did you move with the flow and used modern day equipment?
“These days I just use a laptop as I had to sell all my equipment years ago.”

Ok, hard question: if you had to choose between making music back in the 90s and now, and we’re talking producing wise, what would you choose and why?
“The 90’s for sure, I knew what I was doing then haha.”

It’s like you never stop! After releasing an album and many records and also contributing to mix compilations, you released your own book last year! Who would have thought that? Who came up with that idea, and was it hard to remember everything that happened in your life?
“It still blows me away that I have a book out, it’s mental!

I’d had people tell me a few time that I should write a book but I didn’t think anyone would be interested in what I had to say and had no idea how to go about it, so when Billy Daniel Bunter asked me if I wanted to do a book to follow up his own I jumped at the chance. It was a great experience and I owe a lot to Dan and his wife Sonya for getting me to do it.”

A book? Who reads books nowadays? For those youngsters who don’t read books, what would you say to persuade them to get a copy and indulge themselves into Mark Archer’s rich history?
“It’s not justy a book about Altern 8, it’s the whole story of how I got into music in the first place, how I got into production, about the success of Altern 8 and the very difficult years that followed, but also about how things are now a lot better and like a lot of good books theres a very happy ending :)

Ok, so we’ve established that you are a very talented man, who’s gifted with the gift of producing music, contributing to his own book, and also DJing non stop. What will be the next step? Are you going to get your own reality TV show? Your own cooking show? The Altern 8 Vibrator? The Mark Archer toeclippers? Nexus 21 comic book?
“I’ve no idea haha, I just want to continue DJing and producing and should any opportunities come up that I think will work then I’ll go for it.”

When you were a little lad, you probably never thought you would be where you are now. If you are given the power to change anything in your past, what would it be, or would you leave it as it is?
“I’d not change a single thing, there has to be bad times for you to appreciate the good times and bad decisions to make you learn not to make them again.”

Where will Mark Archer be in the near future? Where can those dedicated fans see you/hear you?
“Between now and June I’m pretty much booked up every weekend playing up and down the UK as well as gigs abroad. For gig updates it’s always best to visit the Facebook pages.”

Could you clarify for me the saying “real DJs play vinyl records”. Is that true? What’s your thought on this debate?
“Yawn (I think that covers it)”

Random question: if asked, would you still be able to dance like a monkey on acid?
“I do, regularly :)

Last question, and it might be the most difficult one of this interview, but if you could rate your life from the moment you stepped into the music industry until now, what would you rate it, and why?
“I’d give it a 7 out of 10, not that it hasn’t been amazing but it’s not been easy and it’s far from perfect (very little is).”

Thank you to the wonderful Mark Archer, who took the time to answer these questions as honestly as you would expect. And if this interview has sparked your enthusiasm, why not check out Mark’s own book, which you can get right now, and read about his whole music life, and hopefully it does have a happy ending, as he mentioned before. CLICK HERE and you’ll go straight to the website!

Again, many thanks to Mark Archer. The legend. If you want to know more about him and follow him, check out these websites right now:

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[UPROAR – Big Birthday Bonanza Promo Mix 2] – Shax & MC Rainah (2017)

[UPROAR - Big Birthday Bonanza Promo Mix 2] - Shax & MC Rainah (2017)

[UPROAR – Big Birthday Bonanza Promo Mix 2] – Shax & MC Rainah (2017)

DJ: Shax
MC: Rainah
Genre/Style: UK Hardcore, Happy Hardcore, Makina
Mix Info: UPROAR – Big Birthday Bonanza Promo Mix 2
Length Mix: 00:33:28
Tracks: 11 (eleven)
Download/Listen (via Soundcloud): DOWNLOAD/LISTEN
File Size: 76.7 MB
File Type: mp3
Bitspeed: 320kbps
More Information: UPROAR Big Birthday Bonanza – Event Page

Ever been in Birmingham? The answer is probably yes. But now, the question that matters is: are you going to be there on the 3rd of March, raving the night away at the Tunnel Club? Uproar is back with a brand new event, and you’ve probably seen the banner on my homepage, or seen the event page on Facebook. Let me give you a couple of reasons why you should go: Lisa Pin-Up, Andy Whitby, Sy, Hixxy, Scott Brown, Chris Unknown, Ajay, Macks Wolf vs Callum Higby, Thumpa, and the list goes on. Need more reasons why you should go? I don’t think so.

You can still get tickets, and I think you should go and get them right now. Whilst you browse online for the tickets, why not listen to this promo mix, made by DJ Shax, accompanied by MC Rainah? You might give this a go, seeing as you are getting hyped up for a wonderful night. Unless you are not a fan of Makina, which I highly doubt. Who isn’t a fan of Makina? Well, I’m not a huge fan, because I don’t hear many Makina mixes, but I’m liking it a lot.

DJ Shax behind the decks and MC Rainah behind the mic. What’s the end result? A promo mix they should be proud of.

tracklist

01. Axeler8 – No Good For Me
02. Dmb – Blue Space Flower
03. Dmb – Inaugural Address
04. Alphalfa Industries – Paradise 2013
05. DJ Lozza vs Andy Static – Request
06. K9 – The Island
07. DJ Lozza – The Universe Was Born
08. DJ Lozza – All The Right Places
09. K9 – Aliens And Indians
10. Axeler8 – High Voltage
11. Dmb – Sense Of Style

In all fairness, I’m fairly new to the Makina scene, and now absolutely no-one in the scene. Maybe M-Project, but there aren’t many other names familiar to me. I know the sound, but not the producers. So I can’t talk about the artists who made the tracks, they are unknowns to me.

Well, the music is good. I’m liking the happiness of these tunes. They are fun, quirky, bouncy… basically everything you need to hear when you are at a rave. This style combines several styles into one, and it will get the crowd going. And if the music wouldn’t get you going, MC Rainah will do his best to get you moving. And during this mix he does exactly that.

DJ Shax has selected powerful tracks, and mixed them together beautifully. Can’t say anything or mention anything bad about this mix. Also got nothing bad to say about MC Rainah’s skills. Really feeling this mix.

If this doesn’t persuade you, you are not worthy to go to UPROAR’s upcoming event. Go and get tickets, because you will get a sick line-up, and also Shax will be there, and let’s not forget his MC partner Rainah. This will be an epic night!

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